WLU meets admission targets later in summer

campus - enrollments - lena

(Graphic by Lena Yang)

Wilfrid Laurier University admissions office appears to have met most of its targets for enrolment this coming year, but it took the whole summer to do so. The Waterloo campus, however, suffered a slight dip in admissions.

“We met our target of 4,580 confirmations for Laurier overall,” Holly Cox, director of recruitment and admissions for Laurier’s Waterloo campus explained.

“They are slightly down from last year, but we also have fewer students in Waterloo this year.”

“Predicting student behaviour can be tricky so we were very pleased to meet so close to our targets,” continued Cox. “This year’s target is a ten student increase over our 2012 target of 4,570, which is a more modest increase than in years past and part of our enrolment plan.”

The reason why the admissions are slightly down at the Waterloo campus is due the increase in the faculty of arts admission cutoff. Three years ago, the faculty of arts had the cutoff for incoming students at a high school average of 72 per cent.

Since there were concerns about the quality of these students, the faculty of arts raised the cutoff to 74 in fall 2012 and then up to 75 per cent in the fall of 2013.

“Unless you vastly increase the number of applications you’re getting, you’re going to reduce the number of students you’re taking in,” explained Ray Darling, the registrar at Wilfrid Laurier University.

“And arts, not just at Laurier but across the province, has not been doing very well with applications.”

As a result of this slight dip for the Waterloo campus, Laurier rented out Laurier Place residence to the University of Waterloo, who received an influx of students. According to Chris Dodd, the director of residence at Laurier, noted that Laurier Place has 269 beds and that they get the residence back in May of 2014.

However, Laurier’s School of Business and Economics has done well, along with the double degree program with the math department at the University of Waterloo.

“The BBA increased their cutoff this year by half a per cent and hit their targets,” Cox said.

That being said, Cox also explained that last year “[they] did go over our targets by about 200, so hitting [their] target too closely this year represents a decrease in the number of students who confirmed compared to last year.”

Both the faculty of science and music held their enrolment targets, according to Cox. In addition, Laurier’s Brantford campus had an aggressive target this year.

“They did exceed their targets by about 40 students and increased their confirmations by over 130 compared to last year,” said Cox.

Darling admitted that they weren’t achieving their goals at the beginning of the summer when applications for universities close on June 1. Typically the university wouldn’t allow admissions after that date, but they had to work throughout the summer to achieve those targets.

“What admissions did this year is that we just stayed open, I believe they were accepting students until a couple weeks ago. So they did manage to reach target, it just means they just had to take the whole summer to do it,” said Darling.

Cox also mentioned that Brantford’s new bachelor of social work program, which was launched late in the cycle, has met within one student of their target.

Recruitment and admissions expressed their contentment when it came to these figures.
“Overall, I am very comfortable with how things settled out this year; we are managing our enrolment as expected,” explained Cox.

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